DARK ROAST – Direct Trade Coffee


Country: Zambia

Altitude: 1,500 MASL [4,921 feet]

Process: Washed

Tasting Notes: Walnut, Robust, Full Body

We roast ‘in-Haus’ so that you can have a ‘Farm to Cup’ experience

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About Zambia
About Ethiopia
Additional information

Zambia is not a coffee growing country we see many samples from. There is plenty of coffee being exported from the region, but their coffee-growing history is much younger than those that surround them. The first coffee was planted in Zambia in the 1950s, however, it wasn’t until the last few decades that it became a major contributor to Zambia’s agri-business sector. Isanya is one of a cluster of coffee estates are very close to Kasama town, in Zambia’s Northern Province. Estates and “plantations” make up the bulk of coffees that are exported from Zambia.

For the Natural-processed ‘Gold’ coffees, the best cherries are carefully selected with double handpicking (ensuring a consistency of over 98% of fully formed red ripe cherries) before being dried on raised beds. The cherries are spread across the beds in thin layers to ensure even drying, and regularly turned over a period of 3 to 4 weeks.

The Northern province has the best conditions for arabica coffee cultivation in Zambia with its relative proximity to the equator and abundant altitude (Mafinga Hills being the highest point in the country at 2,300 masl).  Most coffee grows from 1,300 – 2,300 masl.

Kateshi Coffee Estate, as one of the first coffee estates in Zambia, was established in 1972 close to Kateshi village. Sustainability is at the heart of Kateshi Estates operations, and they strive for excellent community relations and protection of natural resources. Almost 600 ha of land are protected forest areas with high conservation value.

From the Mafinga Hills region of Zambia and grown at an elevation of 1,300 – 1,500 masl, this Light-Medium roast has subtle tasting notes of Walnut, Pineapple, and Brown Sugar.

The Mafinga Hills in Zambia’s Northern Province are home to the country’s highest peaks, where altitude and ancient volcanic soils help produce the bright and citrusy flavor profiles that characterize this coffee. Beans both estates are then washed using the Swiss Water® Process and milled at the Kateshi mill and coffee to create this unique coffee.

Kateshi has also been recognized for boldly challenging the gender stereotypes in Zambia, being the first and only coffee estate to employ women for traditionally male-dominated roles such as driving tractors and even larger equipment like road graders and bulldozers. A strong focus on gender equality makes this coffee directly contribute to the empowerment of women – and this is not restricted to the farm; the newfound sense of independence and pride also spills over into the neighboring communities.


Ntaba Coffee is proud to support the co-operative society SCFCU (Sidama Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union), which allows our supplier to bring Fair Trade– and organic-certified Sidama coffees from specific farmer co-ops.


Ethiopia holds near-legendary status not only because it’s the “birthplace” of Arabica coffee, but also because it is simply unlike any other place in the coffee world. Unlike most coffee-growing countries, the plant was not introduced as a cash crop through colonization but were endemic to the country. In Ethiopia growing, processing, and drinking coffee is part of the everyday way of life, and has been for centuries. Coffee trees were discovered growing wild in forests and eventually cultivated for household use and commercial sale.

Culturally, politically, economically, and culinarily, Ethiopian coffee is hard to fully comprehend. Add to that the fact that the genetic diversity of coffee grown in Ethiopia is unmatched globally. There is 99% more genetic material in Ethiopia’s coffee alone than in the entire rest of the world—and the result is a coffee lover’s dream:

Because the beverage has such a significant role in the daily lives of Ethiopians, another unique aspect of Ethiopia’s coffee production is the very high domestic consumption.  About 50% of the country’s 6.5-million-bag annual production is consumed at home, with roughly 3.5 million bags exported.

Still commonly enjoyed as part of a “ceremonial” preparation, coffee is a way of gathering family, friends, and associates around a table for conversation and community. The most senior woman of the household roasts the coffee in a pan and grinds it fresh before mixing it with hot water in a brewing pot called a jebena. She serves the strong liquid in small cups, adding fresh boiling water to brew the coffee two more times. Taking about an hour from start to finish, the process is considered a regular show of hospitality and society.

Most if Ethiopia’s farmers are smallholders and sustenance farmers, with less than 1 hectare of land each. In many cases it is almost more accurate to describe the harvests as “garden coffee,” as the trees do sometimes grow in more of a garden or forest environment than in large fields. While there are some large, privately-owned estates and co-operatives comprising of a mix of small and more mid-size farms, the average producer in Ethiopia grows relatively very little for commercial sale.


There are several ways coffee is prepared for market in Ethiopia. While there are large, privately-owned estates which are operated by hired labor, “garden coffee” is brought by a farmer in cherry form to the closest or most convenient washing station. The washed beans are then sold and blended with other farmers’ lots and processed according to the desires of the washing station. Co-op members will bring their crop to be weighed and received at a co-op washing station, where there is more traceability to the producer.

The profile of Ethiopian coffees will vary based on several factors, including variety, process, and microregion. Typically, natural processed coffees will have much more of a pronounced fruit and deep chocolate tones, often with a bit of a winey characteristic and a syrupy body. Washed coffees will be lighter and have more pronounced acidity, though individual characteristics may vary.

Harrar coffees are almost always processed naturally, or “dry,” and have a distinctly chocolate, nutty profile that reflects the somewhat more arid climate the coffee grows in.

Sidama is a large coffee-growing region in the south and includes Guji and the famous Yirgacheffe.  Yirgacheffe coffee is a wet processed coffee grown at elevations from 1,600 to 2,300 meters above sea level and is the considered the best high-grown coffee in southern Ethiopia.

Country of Origin: Zambia

Tasting Notes: Walnut, Robust, Full Body

Process: Washed

Growth Elevation: 1,500 MASL [4,921 feet]

We roast ‘in-Haus’ so that you can have a ‘Farm to Cup’ experience

** Available for discounted subscription **

Weight .82 lbs
Dimensions 6 × 8 × 9.5 in
2nd choice of monthly roast

BURUNDI – Natural – Migoti Hill – Light Roast, ZAMBIA DECAF Mafinga Hills–Light Med Roast, TANZANIA Tarime District–Medium Roast, KENYA Nyeri Peaberry–Medium Roast, TANZANIA – Iganda Cooperative – Dark Roast